Exclusionary Notices Still a Concern

13/04/2017 15:38

Exclusionary Notices Still a Concern

19 Januar 2017

The Consumer Council of Fiji is concerned that some traders continue to defy the laws by displaying signsand receipt notices which read “No Refund or Exchange”.

Selling goods with the warning sign that states "No Refund or Exchange”, is unethical, illegal andunilateral declaration. It is imperative that all goods sold should be of merchantable quality, reasonably fitfor the purpose it was made known by the consumer to the supplier and must also match the sample thatwas shown to the consumer.

Exclusionary notices force consumers to accept this as a condition of purchase, although they do have theright to return the goods for redress, if the goods are not of merchantable quality.

Therefore, the display of signs or policies that imply no right to refund is unlawful and is a breach of theCommerce Commission Act 2010, Section 77(1) (k).

The provision states: “A person shall not, in trade or commerce in connexion with the supply or possiblesupply of goods or services or in connexion with the promotion by any means of the supply or use of goodsor services make representation concerning the existence, exclusion or effect of any condition, warranty,guarantee, and right or remedy that person does not have.” The maximum penalty for the breach underthe Commerce Commission Act 2010 is $10,000 for companies.

This means that a trader cannot impose a condition that prevents consumers seeking redress if productspurchased are not of merchantable quality or if the trader has violated safety and other regulations. Traderscannot impose conditions that deny consumers the right to due process.

The Council calls on traders who are displaying ‘no refund’ signs in their business premises or on receipts,invoices or other places to comply with the law.

Consumers must note that traders are not obliged to give a refund or exchange the item if they change theirmind or do not like the style or colour.

Meanwhile, the Council is encouraging consumers not to be intimidated by such notices but to report suchtraders to the Council for non-compliance. The usual places where traders highlight such notices are in-storeposters, receipts, dockets or invoices.